In the case of Hoosier Mountain Bike Association, Inc., et al. and Kaler, the City of Indianapolis owned and operated the Town Run Trail Park through its Indy Parks and Recreation Department. The Hoosier Mountain Bike Association, Inc., was responsible for maintaining the trails, whose difficulty ranges from beginner to intermediate. In the spring of 2011, an Eagle Scout, as part of their merit badge project, built a new trail feature along Town Run’s mountain bike trail that would test technical skills. This feature was a berm that had three options to get through it which were to avoid it, enter it and ride it high, enter it and ride it low.
On July 9, 2011, Kaler and his girlfriend visited the trail. Kaler was encountering the berm for the second time when he decided to enter it and ride it high to get through it. Kaler would fall and sustain severe injuries which include lacerations to his spleen and kidney. Kaler would sue the City of Indianapolis for his damages. The City tried to file a motion for summary judgement and the trial court denied the motion.
The Indiana Court of Appeals would hold that it was objectively reasonable for the City to expect Kaler to take into account the risks of the bike trail and take necessary precautions. The trail’s difficulty ranged from beginner to intermediate and Kaler’s own deposition said that he was an experienced bicyclist who admitted that a fall is just a general consequence of the sport. There was no evidence that the City had actual or constructive knowledge of any unreasonable risks on the bike trail. The Indiana Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred in denying summary judgment to the City.
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